DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There will be no criminal complaints brought in the altercation Wednesday between Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price and local reporters.
The District Attorney’s Office says neither wants to pursue charges. During the melee, Price is accused of hitting WFAA-TV reporter Brett Shipp and later threatening him.
Shipp and I were on Dallas county property at the invitation of Commissioner Maurine Dickey, who was looking for county equipment she believes is missing. I spoke directly to Price today, but he declined comment.
DA spokeswoman Jamille Bradfield says the men reached a mutual decision. “During the conversation with both individuals they were both very professional and both acknowledged there’s sometimes stress and pressures associated with their respective jobs.” She added, “There’s no complaint and neither individual involved wishes to pursue any charges. “
Reaction from county government is muted. Judge Clay Jenkins’ spokeswoman released this statement: ““The altercation was a situation between reporters wanting access to a private meeting among Commissioners. Judge Jenkins does not have the power to influence or monitor the behavior of elected officials outside of the Court. He is busy working on things he can control on behalf of the people of Dallas County.”
“It’s very unfortunate, it’s not a professional appearance,” says Mike Cantrell, who isn’t pleased with the actions of his two fellow commissioners. But he says the county is working on a way to address the root issue: public access to property the public owns. “A policy that, that…. allows access to the media and to the public to those areas that are not safety sensitive or related to Homeland Security.” He believes the suggested policy will be presented to the full Commissioners Court later this month.
Commissioner Dickey has not responded to our requests Thursday for comment, and neither has Darryl Martin, the man seen in the video helping Price at the door. Mr. Martin is the chief executive officer in Dallas County government and reportedly not scheduled to be in his office Thursday.